By DAVID LOPEZ
Special to the PRESS
Last Wednesday’s, April 6, SPI City Council meeting saw the discussion of improvements to city infrastructures; most notably the city’s bike lanes.
The meeting began first with a presentation by Dr. Cheryl Hapke, a coastal geologist with Integral Consulting, on the Coastal Management Program’s (CMP) beach and dune assessment on resiliency.
For this study, the CMP analyzed the historical time series of 250 beach profiles available since 1993; assessed long and short-term shoreline change trends; modeled future likely responses to storms and sea level rise scenarios, and finally evaluated the health of dune vegetation and developed a dune maintenance plan.
Dr. Hapke mentioned that the projected sea-level rise according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is of 1.54 feet by 2040 and 3.54 feet by 2070.
“As the sea level rises, water levels during storms increase, resulting in future overtopping and erosion of the dunes,” Dr. Hapke said. “But the majority of the change will be on the shoreline and not on the dunes.”
Dr. Hapke concluded in her presentation that the beaches are relatively healthy due to frequent beach nourishment and a robust dune planting program.
“Where intact, the dunes are healthy and provide protection to SPI infrastructure from flooding and waves while disturbed dunes increase the vulnerability of the entire system,” read the presentation.
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